Arms commission to 'rid SA of albatross'

2011-10-27 12:20

Cape Town - Allegations surrounding the arms deal, or the strategic defence initiative, have been in the public domain since the dawn of democracy and have hung like an albatross around the country's neck, says Justice & Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe.

Speaking at media conference on Thursday, Radebe announced the terms of reference to the commission that would investigate the allegations of corruption that have surrounded the deal since 1996.

Originally the deal was valued at R29bn over 12 years, however, recent estimates show that it had ballooned to more than R40bn.


The terms of reference for the commission are that it would have to take into account the rationale for the arms deal and whether the arms and equipment acquired were under-utilised or not utilised at all.

The commission has also to consider if job opportunities that were anticipated to flow from the deal materialised.

Offsets, the industrial participation by the arms suppliers, will also have to be investigated and if they materialised at all.

Finally, the commission would have to look at whether any person or persons, within or outside of government improperly influenced the award or conclusion of any of the contracts awarded and whether legal proceedings should be instituted against such persons.

The terms of reference also state that the commission should look into if there was any basis for the recovery of any losses the state may have suffered.

Radebe said the commission would be based in Johannesburg and his department had allocated a budget of R40m for the commission.

  • djmain1 - 2011-10-27 12:25

    Can they subpoena witnesses?

      Sidima - 2011-10-27 12:31

      yes they can. they can cease evidence as well. i'd like to hear our president testify

      claudevn - 2011-10-27 12:31

      Rather ask "Will they"... Quite frankly, it will depend on the legislature that governs this commission...

      Mandla - 2011-10-27 12:57

      For some reason I doubt our very honest president would open up this can if he didn't already open it and cleared incriminating worms himself. I just smell a rat

      Right - 2011-10-27 13:03

      The truth of the matter is that other individuals who have not as yet been fingered acquired far more from arms deal. eg. it has recently come to light that the Chairperson of a major bank was heavily involved in influencing the contract. Let them expose the complete rot once and for all. It should be remembered that the Arms Deal was actually under a different administration and individuals close to that administration may have benefitted enormously. President Zuma/Shaik within the overall deal may have just been fall guys with the real kingpins having excluded scrutiny thus far.

      Servaas - 2011-10-27 13:08

      @Right: For once I agree with you. Spot on.

      Jannie Momberg - 2011-10-27 14:26


      william.nettmann - 2011-10-27 14:39

      @Right: What different administration? The ANC has been in power, and as such has been the government, or the administration if you prefer that term, since 1994. As far as I am aware, there has been no change of government or administration at all.

      Right - 2011-10-27 22:23

      @William...if you want me to educate you or elucidate for you then we must first talk about my fees....otherwise educate yourself in these matters.

  • Clint - 2011-10-27 12:34

    40Mil - wow hope they take their time an use the whole budget

      Koos - 2011-10-27 12:53

      Would love to see a detailed budget!?

      Michael - 2011-10-27 13:05

      Well @Clint the salary, allowances and expenses for 3 judges will not be cheap. There will no doubt also be some international travel, hotel accommodation, etc. Won't be much small change after that bro.

  • Michael - 2011-10-27 12:55

    The only term of reference that bears any relevance is the last one - the motive for adding the others is totally beyond me. Perhaps to drag the process out as long as possible? The use of the assets is totally irrelevant, as the continued shrinkage of the SANDF budget has obviously blunted capacity to use them effectively.

  • Trevor - 2011-10-27 13:03

    How about getting rid of the Gripens first.

      Levett - 2011-10-27 13:44

      They can fly in cold weather if piloted by foreigners. Nice toy!

  • Ubabamkhulu - 2011-10-27 13:05

    By the time the commission is ready to hear evidence or to start submit findings our President Mr Zumu will be in retirement and so many of the others as well. It seems that the commission must also investigate the validity or necessity for the arms deal in the first place and not just the corruption only. Who ever started the whole arms deal, Mandela and Mbeki, will also be in trouble now. Ubabamkhulu might not live to see the findings of this investigation.

  • Bin - 2011-10-27 13:08

    The allocation to the commission is topo much.It is unbelievable. 40 milion? This is the continuation of chewing state/tax money. Coz i dont them recovring any cent from anyone who benfited from the arms deal

      Jonathan - 2011-10-27 13:16

      It does sound a lot, but it would be 40 mil well spent if they get everything cleared up once and for all!

  • Levett - 2011-10-27 13:28

    They should also consider whether certain systems acquired were actually needed at all. I know that Grippon is at least one system that is a total waste of money. Some of our Cheetaha fighters were sold to Ecuador to modernize their fleet ... makes no sense

  • Gammat - 2011-10-27 13:30

    Albatross LMFAO

  • ammpike - 2011-10-27 13:46

    I think JZ is just spiting his political rivals in the ANC by doing all this lots of people are going down here he is just embarrassing the ANC he is so desperate for a 2nd time term in 2012 he will even sell his soul.I wonder which country in the world doesn't have problems the National party where the biggest thieves they stole large sums of cash before 1994 but now black people are in power it is made as if its the worst sin by those who have their own agendas humiliate and discredit the ANC government so we can be in control again

      Gammat - 2011-10-27 13:54

      Re NATS references needed.

      piet.strydom - 2011-10-27 14:28

      I agree with you ammpike, the Nats were corrupt, and stole. It is human nature. However, they stole with desertspoons, the ANC is stealing with a pick and shovel.

      pretoriawebdesigner - 2011-10-27 14:41

      My mother always asked me if I would jump in a fire just because my friends were. Using the fact that someone else was crooked as justification for your criminality is not an excuse, It's idiotic. But making unfounded allegations with no proof makes it even worse. I am pretty sure the people that are complaining about the current thievery would have complained about the thievery back then. I know that I for one would support Zuma fully if only he was willing to prove his loyalty to the country and not to himself. His firing of the crooked ministers this week was a great start. His allowing the terms of reference for the arms deal enquiry to be that broad makes him a hero in my eyes even if only momentarily.

      Burtfred - 2011-10-27 14:50

      Ammpike, how do you know this for sure? What is your evidence? Please share it with us.

  • nicholas.rowan - 2011-10-27 14:35

    Albatross? What flavour is it?

  • John - 2011-10-27 22:29

    Arms commission to 'rid SA of albatross'???? Arms commission to 'rid SA of ANC = Association of National Criminals! Arms commission to 'rid SA of ANC = Abortion , Murder , Genocide!

  • alansmart223 - 2011-10-29 01:20

    For once I must give credit where credit is due. I've been anti ANC since 1972 when I was Sen. Officer in the S.A.D.F. This is a brave move from our "dumb" President and I applaud it. Specially for the terms of reference which has been declared. This should and will throw a lot of light on what's been going on with our tax payers money and although I have never trusted the government as far as corruption goes, me thinks that this will end a 15 year old problem. Zuma has finaly realized that we S.Africans are not idiots and that we need to know where our taxes are going. Amandla D.A. Amandla. At last we geting some sense from our politicians

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